The Horror Honeys: Buy a Ticket for The Penny Dreadful Picture Show!

Buy a Ticket for The Penny Dreadful Picture Show!

A Revenge Honey Anthology Review by Linnie

The Penny Dreadful Picture Show (2013)

While horror anthologies are, without question, among some of my favorite films in general, they are notoriously hit and miss. While you occasionally luck out and get an across the board magical experience (Trick 'r Treat, The Theatre BizarreCreepshow... shut up, I love it), usually they are a crapshoot, and feature at least one massive misfire. This is why I am happy to report that The Penny Dreadful Picture Show, which is 95% fantastic, is officially one of my new favorite movies.

Seriously... I'm sitting here itching to watch it again right stat now.

The Wraparound Story: The adorably undead Penny Dreadful (Eliza Swenson) is just looking for a nice guy to share in her love of scary movies, and maybe, her affection for slightly beaten up porcelain dolls. In the vintage movie theater that she shares with her zombie usher Ned and lycanthrope pal Wolfboy, Penny screens the latest in horror shorts while waiting for her Internet dates to arrive and join in the fun. But will just any regular boy appreciate Penny's eccentricities? And is love a little closer than she realizes?

As you should with any anthology film, we'll take each short and the wraparound in turn, then rate the film as a whole!

Slash-in-the-Box: A young couple is tormented by a Jack-in-the-box that the husband picks up from a shop-owner. This particular short was really unnecessary, and fell far below the production quality and style of the rest of the film. Given its less than five-minute running time, I would have been just as happy if it had been left out entirely. Even a solid parting shot wasn't enough to prevent me from resenting the time it stole from Penny herself.

Revenge Honey Rating: 1 "why did you buy a Jack-in-the-box to begin with, you asshole" out of 5

The Morning After: Written and directed by Eliza Swenson, The Morning After was without a doubt, my favorite film in The Penny Dreadful Picture Show. I was immediately drawn in by the flawless early-60s production design, even when I had no idea where the initial story was going. However, the mystery is what made The Morning After such a delicious and surprising treat. When Alice (the stunningly beautiful and brilliantly talented Samantha Soule) wakes up after a night of drinking, or so she thinks, she is struggling to regain her memories. All she knows is she feels sick, and can't shake the feeling that something is wrong with her. It's only when Alice runs into Jez (the equally lovely Ramona Mallory) that the pieces start to fall in to place, and Alice wishes they wouldn't.

Perfectly paced, gorgeously shot, and elegantly acted, The Morning After is that rare short film that I would be thrilled to find out was being expanded into a full-length.

Revenge Honey Rating: 5 Paranormal One-Night Stands out of 5

The Slaughter House: What began as a frustrating exercise in obvious homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses was immediately turned on its head by a twist that was far too original and far too welcome to spoil here. All I will say is that performances from Sid Haig and Jeffrey Combs are wonderful, the set pieces are spectacular, and for the first time in a long time, a twist does what it is meant to do: destroy all of your previous held perceptions about what you were watching and force you to reassess everything that came before. 

Revenge Honey Rating: 4 Party Hats out of 5

The Wraparound Story: From the opening seconds of The Penny Dreadful Picture Show, I fell madly in love with Swenson's Penny. She is the most twistedly adorable monster I've ever seen, Frankenstein's creation mixed with a perky porcelain doll. I adored Ned and Wolfboy, her constant companions, and her childlike wonder over horror films was contagious. Watching Penny search for love in the Internet age of dating was pretty much like watching the film version of #horrorhoneyproblems... "WHY WON'T YOU STOP TALKING DURING THE HORROR MOVIE? DO I HAVE TO FEED YOU TO MY WOLFBOY??"

It didn't take long before I was convinced that Penny might be my new Honey role model. Let her become yours too.

Revenge Honey Rating: 5 buckets of popcorn out of 5

Overall Revenge Honey Rating: 4 & 1/2 Frankenbeauties out of 5
(Minus a 1/2 for the Jack-in-the-box short, which could have been more time spent with Penny)

The Penny Dreadful Picture Show is available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video

What's your favorite horror anthology?
Tell me on Twitter: @linnieloowho